There has been a major increase in fines for people on the dole turning down job offers.
Figures from the Department of Social Protection show penalties rose from just over 1,500 handed out 2012, to more than 16,000 last year.
The fines of up to €44 a week apply to anyone ’failing to engage’ with employment services; that means refusing work, internships or training without good reason.
Former Tanaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton thinks we are not getting the full picture. She claims many companies prefer to hire young people.
"We actually need more information from the minister: what is the profile of the people involved, how long have they been unemployed, and what kind of age group?" she said.
"There’s a problem with older people because, for instance, a lot of the tech companies and the pharmaceutical companies, by and large employees are almost all under 40."
- Digital Desk